Get 24/7 Access to Technology Training Tools

On November 21, 2014, in Announcements, by Walker News

atomic-learningThrough Webster University’s partnership with Atomic Learning, an award-winning provider of online technology training and support, students can watch tutorials to learn to use assistive technology and gain educational support on more than 215 applications.  From blogging to presentations, MLA® and APA™ research-paper basics and more, Atomic Learning provides students with 24/7 access to guided step-by-step training resources.

Students can browse the Atomic Learning website by application or topic. The website provides students with support in a variety of academic areas, including learning how to:

  • Create and edit documents, presentations and spreadsheets in Google Docs,
  • Design in Dreamweaver and create in Photoshop,
  • Utilize advanced features of common apps such as Word and Excel,
  • And much more.

Atomic Learning is available to students at no cost through the Connection’s Portal. For more information, visit:



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Killing Your Job Search with Inept Networking

On November 20, 2014, in Career Insight, by Walker News

handshakeDid anyone ever ask you about openings in your company?  It’s painful to say “sorry” to these people, and it’s humiliating for them to ask.  Networking for openings doesn’t work.

Well, it was OK when you were just beginning your career.  Jack got his high school stock boy job by having a friend’s dad pull strings, and Steve got a job waiting tables by walking in and asking if they needed people.  But that only works for entry-level jobs.  Once you’ve got a career in mind, it’s unlikely that your friends and acquaintances know the right people to talk to.

Person-to-person job searching is the hands-down preferred method!  The problem with this is that most people think networking works all by itself.  They’ll go to association meetings (usually made up of 40 to 60 percent job-hunters and a handful of engaged workers) and ask about vacancies or openings.  They’ll pass out their resumes on the street like flyers.  They’ll collect business cards like baseball cards, hoard them, and wish they had some realistic good reason to talk to those people.  They hope they’ll be remembered when a vacancy or opening turns up.

Then there’s networking among “primary” contacts.  Friends, relatives and acquaintances don’t like being imposed on; besides, it’s just hit or miss when you ask everyone you know about jobs.  You can quickly burn up your network instead of cultivating it.

To avoid this random, billiard-ball-style networking, you need a written and researched plan of who you want to talk to, how you can make or save them money, a firm grasp on what is going on in their industry, and a thought out rationale and method to get in to see them face to face.  You need a clear agenda for each meeting.  You must know how to milk the meeting for further contacts by knowing—at least by key information point if not by name—who else you want to talk to.

Remember, your resume is not likely to entice anyone to see you.  To generate networking interviews, you need good telephone techniques, a brief and powerful personal profile to sell your future, and you’ll need to avoid the common mistakes that kill job campaigns.  These include being “open” to any kind of job; an unplanned, unfocused search; and doing it alone.  You’re going to need support and cheerleading from friends and family to get you through the discouraging times—and don’t be afraid to get professional help to assist you in getting beyond your limiting beliefs.

Poor networking is worse than no networking Meeting people is one thing, making the correct impression is another.  Just meeting a lot of people and talking with them doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting closer to a new job.  If people aren’t impressed or if they think you’re too arrogant, too pushy, too meek, too timid, too uninformed, not committed enough, too confused, or too anything, all that a hundred networking contacts will do is generate a hundred poor impressions.  You’ll end up burning bridges that you’ll have to rebuild later once you get your head on straight.

One client was very excited because he “knew everybody” in his industry.  When we did a candid reference check, we found out he was well-known, but for the wrong reasons.  He wasn’t famous, he was infamous!  He had to shape up in a number of areas, including going back to everyone he knew and revising the impression he’d made.

In some cases, you may not be able to repair the damage.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Poorly conducted or ill-prepared networking will only make things worse every time, so it’s in your best interest to develop a strong plan for networking prior to engaging with potential contacts.

About the Author:
david hults-2014David Hults is a nationally known career coach and speaker, as well as a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from Webster University where he also completed graduate courses toward his MBA.  Since 1987, Hults is the author of five books, a CD coaching series and has created the most sought after interview flash card set, which makes the interview simplified and painless.  His experience in human resources led him to work for Express Scripts, a Fortune 500 company, as well as one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, BJC.  He has been coaching individuals for more than 20 years on how to break through individual roadblocks while also delivering speeches across the nation discussing how to manage change in careers and organizations today. For more information, visit his website at

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Dr. Patrick Rishe on the Push for Sports Betting

On November 20, 2014, in In the News, by Walker News

patrick-rishe2014Patrick Rishe, PhD, professor of economics at the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, discussed the likelihood of getting Federal legislation on sports gambling and the push to legalize pro sports betting on CNBC’s Squawk Sports.

Rishe described the situation as, “A fascinating economic debate,” because of the amount of money that is spent on sports betting.  During the interview, he said that about $380 billion of the 400 billion that is spent on gambling in the US is under-the-table, so there could be some upside potential for states to capitalize on the tax revenue if sports betting was legalized. On the flip side, he said that if gaming is legalized, some may shift their spending to other forms of entertainment.  Watch the interview on CNBC for more insights.


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Remarks by Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology
November 18, 2014

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us. It’s wonderful to see so many friends in the audience. We are honored to have Ambassador and Carol Walker with us, as well as President Stroble and Walker School Advisory Board Chair Dale Cammon. It is an honor to have School of Communication Dean Eric Rothenbuhler with us. We also have Webster alumnae, Walker School faculty members, students and staff in attendance.

Over the years, the Walker School has welcomed to our campus some of the most influential leaders and opinion makers of our time to discuss important issues and topics. Today is no different. We are delighted to have with us the founders of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies – Bob and Dottie King. Also joining us today is the executive director of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, Dr. Tralance Addy. It was just a few years ago that Bob and Dottie made a significant investment in Stanford with a $150 million gift to establish SEED.

SEED’s path from concept to reality is the result of Bob and Dottie’s vision to address poverty around the world, and through their extraordinary generosity, the establishment of the King International Experience Fund at Stanford University has successfully integrated a more globally oriented approach to its programs, thereby infusing global business perspectives and learning opportunities into the student experience.

Together with executive director Dr. Addy, the institute continues to create economic opportunities that are changing the lives of people who are living in poverty. Dr. Addy’s global leadership experience has made a compelling impact on the institute’s success.

Today, SEED’s programs support West Africa’s booming population of more than 300 million people, of which nearly 70 percent of the population is living on less than two dollars per day. Through initiatives designed to stimulate economic opportunities—including job creation—and the acceleration of new businesses, SEED is helping to bridge a critical gap in global efforts to address prosperity around the world.

Like any successful venture, SEED’s story is rooted in passion and good planning and its ambitious goal to drive entrepreneurship and innovation through on-the-ground engagements. There’s no doubt that it has the capacity to catalyze positive change for the people of West Africa.

I welcome Bob and Dottie King and Dr. Tralance Addy to Webster University. Please join me in giving them a warm welcome.


Bob King

SEED Founders Dorothy and Robert E. King and SEED Executive Director Tralance Addy, PhD

The George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology welcomed Robert E. and Dorothy King, the founders of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED), and Tralance Addy, PhD, SEED’s executive director, to Webster University on Nov. 18. More than 75 students, staff, alumni and community members attended the luncheon presentation.

Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School, expressed his appreciation for the organization’s work to transform lives through innovation and entrepreneurship. “As a native of Nigeria, I am deeply connected to this initiative,” he said. “I have a profound appreciation for what SEED is doing to help my bigger family – the people of West Africa.”

SEED was founded in 2011 as a result of the King’s $150 million gift to Stanford University. Today, its programs support West Africa’s booming population of more than 300 million people, of which nearly 70 percent of the population is living on less than two dollars per day. Through initiatives designed to stimulate economic opportunities—including job creation—and the acceleration of new businesses, SEED is helping to bridge a critical gap in global efforts to address prosperity.

Tralance Addy explained that while there are various ways to touch the lives of the poor, SEED’s approach uses “design thinking” to stimulate entrepreneurship. Design thinking is a creative process based around building ideas and developing tested toolkits that integrate the needs of the people with technological possibilities for success.

Guests at the event

Guests at the event

“Our programs help businesses translate informal systems into reliable systems that have the capacity to improve the communities,” said Addy.  “We do this by combining knowledge with doing and integrating learning with doing.”

In addition to helping grow entrepreneurs in West Africa, SEED is also partnering with departments across Stanford University, including its medical school, to conduct research on AIDS and malaria, two diseases that affect the people of Africa. “SEED is helping to change the culture at Stanford,” Robert E. King said.

Students at Stanford are responding to the change in culture. As a result of SEED’s work in Africa, Dorothy King said, “We’re seeing students apply to Stanford who have a passion for helping people. They see what we’re doing and they want to contribute.”

In closing the event, Dean Akande said that SEED’s story reminds him of the African proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. “What SEED is doing is taking us all along,” he said, “and together we will make a difference for people in need.”

To learn more about Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED), visit:

Read Dean Akande’s opening remarks on the Walker School’s blog.

Bob King

L-R Back: Ambassador George Herbert Walker, SEED Co-Founder Robert E. King, SEED Executive Director Tralance Addy
L-R: Front: SEED Co-Founder Dorothy King, Carol Walker, Dean Benjamin Akande



Gorloks Finish First in ACM Programming Contest

On November 4, 2014, in Announcements, by Walker News

On Nov. 1, students from across the region participated in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) programming contest at the Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University.  As one of the biggest and most influential programming contests internationally, the contest pits teams of three university students against nine complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance.

This year, 14 teams from various local universities, including Webster University, Saint Louis University, McKendree University, Lindenwood University, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) and Missouri Science and Technology, took part in the competition.  Webster University’s team, Gorlok 1, placed first in the competition and 20th regionally.  The team included Eric Bright, Isaac Brodsky and Josh Merseal.

Math and Computer Science Professors Xiaoyuan Suo and Brenda Boyce organized the event and coached Webster University’s team.  “Webster is one of the few small liberal arts institutions to receive this honor, and we are extremely excited about the students’ accomplishment,” Suo said.

“Our students worked hard to train for this event,” Boyce added, “and we are looking forward to competing in the next programming contest.”

Webster’s Team from left to right: Students Isaac Brodsky, Eric Bright and Joshua Merseal and Assistant Professor Xiaoyuan Suo



Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University, will join community leaders at Independence Center’s annual benefit, Dancing with the St. Louis Stars, on Jan. 24 at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.  The event supports Independence Center in its mission to assist adults who are living with serious and persistent mental illness.

In preparation for the event, Akande is working with professional dancer Stephanie Medeiros to choreograph a routine – a hip-hop and African-inspired number – which the couple will perform live at the Dancing with the Stars event. The winning couple will be chosen based on the amount of money raised, and Akande has set a personal goal of raising $30,000.  Votes can be cast online, and each vote equals $10.  All proceeds benefit Independence Center, and there is no limit to the number of votes cast.

“I am honored to participate in Independence Center’s Dancing with the St. Louis Stars benefit,” Akande said.  “Mental illness is a challenging diagnosis, but it is not a journey people should take alone. Together, we can ensure that people facing this challenge receive the treatment they need to have a buoyant  livelihood moving forward.”

View a sneak preview of the Akande and Medeiros’ performance. Cast your vote for Akande and Medeiros. Like Akande’s Facebook page.

About Independence Center
In 2014, Independence Center celebrated its 33rd year of providing comprehensive programs and services to adults with severe and persistent mental illness.  Proceeds from Dancing with the St. Louis Stars will help restore lives through promoting rehabilitation and employment, as well as providing educational, social and housing opportunities that assist adults living with severe and mental illness to live and work in the community, independently and with dignity.


Students working on a master’s degree learn many new skills and analyze in-depth research that will help prepare them to advance in their chosen fields. At Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, graduate students will now be offered a career management and coaching program as part of their education.

The Walker School will pilot the program during the Spring I and Spring II terms under the course number MNGT 5870 – Issues in Management: Career Success for the 21st Century. Beginning in Summer 2015, all graduate students worldwide will be able to take advantage of this benefit under the course number WSBT 5000 – Career Success for the 21st Century.

The unique career management benefit will be offered through a partnership with Right Management, a global leader in talent and workforce solutions.

“Whether our students want to begin, advance or change their careers, this new professional development program will equip them with the tools and resources they need to proactively manage their careers and achieve their goals,” said Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the Walker School.  “Professional development and career management training are essential in today’s highly-competitive job market, and we’re excited to partner with Right Management on this innovative, student-focused initiative.”

Webster’s new Career Management Program will be delivered in two phases.  During Phase I of the program, students will enroll in the required course, Career Success for the 21st Century.  Delivered online, this one-credit hour course is designed to provide students with a foundation in career management; from self-assessments to social media and more. Students in this course will also be introduced to a Right Management career coach who has experience in helping professionals succeed.

At the conclusion of the program, students are encouraged to continue their career development by participating in Phase 2 of the program. Provided compliments of Webster University, this phase of the program provides students with 12-months of personalized career development, including one-on-one career coaching, guidance in developing a career action plan, updating their resumes and strengthening their interviewing and negotiation skills. Students who complete Phase 2 of the program are entitled to on-going career development support over the course of their entire careers through lifetime access to Right Management’s career resources and best practices, including its alumni network and job bank.

Find out more about the program, and register for Webster’s Career Management Program using your Connections account.


Ed Adams, Benjamin Akande and Michael Holmes

This month, the Walker School welcomed Ed Adams, senior vice president of human resources at Enterprise Holdings, and Michael Holmes, president of RX Outreach, for a conversation on human resources development.  During the panel discussion, “How to Recruit, Retain and Grow Talent,” Adams and Holmes shared strategies to improve an organization’s culture, empower its employees and guide their development.

Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School, opened the event by saying that talent matters, and that it can make a difference in an organization’s ability to move from success to significance.  “Success is a result of a well laid out strategy, which often begins with the identification of good talent,” he said.  “When it is done right, success can be measured by the ability to do it over and over again.”

With regard to the role of recruiting talent, Adams said, “The difference [in an organization] is the people and what they do.  It’s all about getting the right talent and having them focus on the business.” He then went on add that human resources professionals must not only know how to recruit the right talent, but they need to know how to retain the talent, grow the talent and ensure that the talent that has been hired has the ability to adapt as the organization changes. 

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, Holmes and Adams said that employees must do their research if they want to get hired.  “It’s amazing how many people don’t prepare adequately,” Holmes said. “You have to know the organization.  Do your research and demonstrate to the interviewer that you want to be there and that you have taken the time to prepare.”

For more insights on how to recruit, retain and grow talent, watch the Speaker Series video with Ed Adams and Michael Holmes.




imgresA new world record will be set and the new Yargis video game will be introduced Friday, Nov. 7, at St. Louis Science Center in the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. Developed by Webster University alum Jeff Minnis, Yargis is a space shooter game that can be formatted for a single player or multiple players. Yargis multiplayer can be played across Internet and local network connections.

Attendees at the Nov. 7 event are invited to bring their laptops and be part of setting the record for most connected computer screens as Yargis makes it debut. Participants will receive a free digital copy of the game.

Registration for the Yargis launch event begins at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 in the planetarium lobby. Construction of the world’s largest screen begins at 8 p.m.

Minnis says, “Yargis is a game I’ve always dreamed of creating. It’s a fun, fast-paced game that you can customize. The graphics, music and game engine were all created here in St. Louis.”

He adds, “Our event on Nov. 7 at the planetarium will be a fun time for everybody who loves to play video games. Plus, we’ll be setting a world record!”

The Yargis launch event on Nov. 7 is free and open to the public. Guests may RSVP at

For more information about Yargis, including screenshots, visit

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